Rooted in physical details and sensations as a foundation for expansive speculation about the human condition, Iron Mountain, by Canadian literary giant Mark Frutkin, is a volume of poetry that is at once centering and expansive. The tenor of David DeSantos' voice as he performs these poems animates the language and provides an intense, clarifying listening experience. The first section is inspired by ancient Chinese art, and the second is grounded in modern experiences and images. Listeners will delight in Frutkin's fresh vision.
One of Mark Frutkin's previous books of verse was described by the Poetry Canada Review as providing" a supernatural fusion of the earthbound with the heavenly to forge the lightning of poetry." Divided into two sections, one inspired by ancient Chinese art, the other limning the ambiguities and incongruities of the contemporary human condition, Frutkin's new volume of poetry, Iron Mountain, often presents human beings wandering in the wilderness between two abysses while still appreciating the smell of pines, the softness of the rain, the brilliance of the stars, the hum of the computer, and the jostle of the crowd on the bus.
These are poems of translucent delicacy, harboring hard truths where "A Taoist priest gulps the elixir/of immortality and blows away/in the dust,/a young Chinese girl/bumps me in the crowd/prompting a shiver/like a startled phoenix/dressed in my skin." In Frutkin's vision the entire world is a written landscape that speaks to us of time, of change, of immutability, and of radiant emptiness.